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With no lack of interruptions, rivals Tim Kaine and Mike Pence defend their respective top-of-the-ticket partners in the election's only vice presidential debate.

Michelle Obama lacerates Donald Trump and even mocks his mic complaints

First Lady Michelle Obama portrayed Donald Trump as an unstable and thin-skinned bigot Tuesday as she sought to inspire a strong voter turnout for Hillary Clinton in North Carolina.

Obama never mentioned the Republican presidential nominee by name in her remarks at a rally in Charlotte. But she picked apart Trump's recent missteps, including his middle-of-the-night tweets calling a former Miss Universe a "terrible" and "disgusting" con artist with a sordid sexual history.

Americans, Obama said, need a commander in chief “who is steady and measured, because when making life-or-death, war-or-peace decisions, a president can’t just pop off or lash out irrationally. And I think we can all agree that someone who’s roaming around at 3 a.m. tweeting should not have their fingers on the nuclear codes."

Obama seized on the New York Times disclosure that Trump reported a nearly billion-dollar loss in 1995 that would have enabled him to pay no federal income tax for up to 18 years.

“We need someone who is honest and plays by the rules, because not paying taxes for years and years while the rest of us pay our fair share doesn't make you smarter than the rest of us,” she said, drawing cheers.

"No, we need a president who will choose to do what's best for the country, even when it doesn't personally benefit them.”

North Carolina is a crucial battleground state that Clinton can only win with a strong turnout of black voters. The first lady has been one of her strongest surrogates.

Obama ridiculed Trump’s effort to excuse his poorly received debate performance last week by faulting the low quality of his microphone, which affected the sound level in the auditorium but was unnoticeable to the record 84 million television viewers.

When Clinton “gets knocked down, she doesn’t complain, she doesn't cry foul,” Obama said, tapping loudly on her microphone. “No, she gets right back up and comes back stronger for the people who need her most.”

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